Summer’s fitful nights

These are the nights when summer makes it difficult to sleep. The sun is out too late, indoors is too stuffy and hot, and the sirens and racing motorcycle noises come in through open windows. But, off in the early night, fireflies are rising up into the dark night. Frogs are heard singing if you live near a pond or gully. And the moon looms across the earth like a flat copper disc, filling the night with its silent presence.

There have been days when I have driven home, seeing the moon in the east, dipping itself in the reflected glory of pink clouds as the sun sets behind me. Gorgeous, breathtaking, hot, and not without the danger of a freak thunderstorm. One of these apparently roared through Philadelphia and hit one of its treasures — Bartram’s Gardens. Looks like they had some weather damage.

I have lived in a house with a yellowwood out front and a gingko and a relative of a Franklinia out back. If you have a Franklinia in your yard, join their census. If not, you have to see one of these blooming to believe it — it’s like candles slowly lighting up on the tree, white creamy blooms with a yellow center. Meanwhile, I am very satisfied to have a young Yellowwood in my front yard, and hope that someday I will get to see its magnificent display.

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